The Westland High School softball team continued to take strides on and off the field under third-year coach Sarah Shellenbarger.

The Cougars finished 7-15 overall and 0-10 in the OCC-Central Division after going 4-16 overall last spring and 1-16 overall in Shellenbarger's first season.

"I'm very pleased with our growth and development," Shellenbarger said. "I believe the girls consider the season a success. Our team goals were met in building and developing relationships amongst one another on and off of the field, and working hard every day to improve skills that translate into wins on the diamond."

Seeded 37th for the Division I district tournament, Westland defeated 36th-seeded Northland 10-6 in the first round May 6 to earn its first postseason win since 2006, when it defeated Centennial 11-6 in the first round.

The Cougars lost at fifth-seeded Marysville 15-2 in five innings in the second round May 8.

Sophomore Kayla Miller (P/SS/2B) batted .486 and scored a team-high 22 runs. She had three doubles, a triple and nine RBI and was honorable mention all-league.

Sophomore Haley Starkey (1B/C) batted .414 with 13 runs, four doubles, a team-high three triples and nine RBI. Junior Sydnee Avila (OF/P) hit .388 with 12 runs, a team-high seven doubles, a home run and eight RBI.

Sophomore Melina Morley (C/3B/1B) batted .359 with nine runs, five doubles, a team-high two home runs and six RBI. Junior Reagan Walters (SS/3B) hit .347 with 13 runs, two doubles and eight RBI.

Shaela Clark (P/2B) was the lone senior.

Others eligible to return are juniors Lindsey Burkitt (3B/OF) and Bailey Garner (SS/2B/OF), sophomores Marissa Edington (OF), Alyssa Mullet (OF), Grace Perry (OF) and Fernanda Rojas (1B/OF) and freshmen Bella Garner (SS/2B/OF), Katie Halter (OF), Mallory Merth (3B/SS/OF) and Matilyn Rapp (3B/OF).

"We will continue to grow to become competitive in the league," Shellenbarger said. "I'm happy to send our senior off with (her) most wins in a season as a varsity player, and I'm excited for what the future brings (for) the returning players. This is a great group of girls, and I'm very proud their improvement, growth and dedication."

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